Last Updated on May 31, 2021
If you’ve started noticing slightly more than a mere bump in the night, you may be considering whether your home is haunted. Hauntings are far more common than most people believe, mostly because they aren’t frequently the subject of conversation. There are a few signs to pay special attention to while trying to decide if you’re dealing with a spirit, and some should be taken extremely seriously. When in doubt, always consult a professional psychic or paranormal investigator instead of taking it on by yourself. Let’s dig in…
Is My House Haunted?
The vast majority of spirits aren’t those that can be easily seen with the naked eye. Most commonly, people who have seen spirits say they start to notice them just out of the corner of their eyes. Grey or white mist, orbs, sudden humanlike movements that are gone when you turn to look at them… these can all be spirits. This is especially true when seeing one combines with a physical feeling of something paranormal, like the hair on your neck or arms standing up.
One thing to rule out with any sort of visual “proof” of a haunting, in addition to getting a standard eye exam, is making sure there is nothing physically wrong with your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning and mold have also been known to cause visual hallucinations, so make sure to have both factors tested as well.
Your Child Mentions Their Imaginary Friend More Frequently
While all children are prone to have imaginary friends (it’s a normal part of the psychology of growing up), pay closer attention if it seems to become more frequent. Younger children are simply more in touch with the spirit world, and they may be seeing a ghost instead of just being creative. Spirits tend to reach out to children more often because they haven’t developed a jaded attitude toward the world. This both works in their favor socially while also making them a potential spirit target. Many ghosts will manifest to children as being younger themselves.
You can start by asking your child about their imaginary friend. Does he or she have a name? What do they look like? Where do you see them? This can give good, quick insight that will clarify whether you should worry or not.
Another thing to watch for is a child who seems to start asking more mature, sometimes inappropriate, questions. They may have specific information about the spirit of someone who once lived in your home, but isn’t old enough to really understand it.
Remember, even if you physically watch your child talking to a spirit, try not to panic. While it can be scary as a parent, you don’t want to send the message to your child that they should be embarrassed or that they did something wrong. Many young children with the gift also have the ability to feel energy. This also means they can often tell when a spirit is “bad” or “good.” That makes it all the more important to nurture your child’s special gift.
Bad, sometimes nauseating bad, odors in your home is one of the most concerning signs that your house may be haunted. If you’ve looked everywhere for the source of the odor and haven’t found one, you may want to call a professional psychic medium for advice.
Some of the worst types of spirits emit odors like this, which people often say smell like rotting eggs, sulfur, or spoiled meat. This may also mean you are dealing with a demon instead of a ghost, which will need the help of a demonologist. In the worst-case scenario, your house may even need to have an exorcism performed on it.
On the other hand, hauntings can also include smelling more positive odors. A few of the top smells in this category are perfume, flowers, or even tobacco smoke. Many of these directly correlate with the people who may be doing the haunting.
Keep in mind that there is also a medical condition, called phantosmia, that makes people smell things that aren’t actually there. Also known as an olfactory hallucination, brain tumors can be a rare but potential cause. You may want to consult a medical doctor before proceeding, to rule phantosmia out as an option.
Issues With Technology
A less obvious way that ghosts can show themselves around the house is by causing glitches with technology. Lights in the house can flicker in good weather, phones can become suddenly drained of their batteries, televisions can change their own channels. This can be due to the changes in energy that comes with spirit manifestation.
One thing to note is that, although it is commonly portrayed in movies as a good idea, novices should never attempt to make contact with the spirit world through audio or visual recordings. While it may be tempting, it allows for too much contact and power from the entities that an unskilled person won’t have any control over. Leave that to the professionals.
Personal Belongings That Seem to Move or Go Missing
One of the top ways to know if your house is being haunted is to watch your personal belongings. While we all tend to misplace things occasionally, if it seems to be happening more than usual, pay attention. Often, a haunting starts with these smaller, more obvious things. Sentimental family jewelry, keys, stuffed animals… generally, objects that have intense personal value are the objects that tend to be a target.
In the vast majority of these cases, it is not a malevolent spirit but instead, a type considered a “trickster.” These spirits are usually just mischevious in nature, wanting to joke around to provoke a response. They often come with a home instead of following a specific person, and most experts recommend just living with them instead of trying to remove them. People can think of them as really irritating roommates, and finding a way to live together is important. However, if they get violent and begin to throw things, you may not be dealing with a trickster and you’ll need to seek additional information and help.
True trickster spirits enjoy watching you search for them just as much as watching you find them again. if you wait long enough, most of your personal belongings will resurface on their own.
Loud, Sometimes Hard to Identify Noises
All houses, especially the older ones, have a tendency to make noise. Furnaces moan and groan, floors creak, pipes bubble and gurgle… these can all be signs of a normal home. Even scratching in the walls can simply be a sign that you need to call animal control.
Louder, more sudden, violent noises, conversely, should be immediately addressed. These can be a sign your home has a poltergeist.
The word poltergeist literally translates from German as “a spirit who knocks.” While they have been popularized by movies like the one who shares the same name, not all poltergeists are vengeful. Some poltergeists are simply spirits who have a message they need to pass along, often one they weren’t able to get through in life. Without the ability to speak the words, they try to communicate the only way they can… banging cabinets, slamming doors, and tapping on walls. Sometimes all it takes to help them pass over is just to listen to what they have to say.
Keep in mind that poltergeists who get violent, throwing objects at you and your family or even setting fires, may need more knowledgable assistance. If this is happening in your home, contact your local paranormal professional for additional help instead of trying to handle it alone. However, poltergeist hauntings are some of the rarest types of hauntings.
Although this isn’t a quantifiable sign, one of the most common factors that come with a haunted house is a feeling of just being watched. This also relates to simply feeling a “bad vibe” in the home. Knowing you are alone in your house but still getting the feeling that someone is watching you is possibly one of the creepiest things in the world. People also report waking up for no reason in the middle of the night, getting the goosebumps on their arms, and having the hairs on the back of the neck and their arms stand up. Don’t disqualify your feelings just because they can’t be “proven.”
Extreme changes in the temperature of certain spots in the house are another indication that you may be dealing with a haunting. Cold spots, especially those in which you can suddenly see your own breath or start to shiver, are especially connected with hauntings. The theory is that it takes a lot of energy for spirits to materialize, and they tend to suck that energy out of the air around them. This causes cold spots.
Make a note of where the cold spots are at in your home, and then try to look into the history of your home to see if anything may have happened there in the past.
Another sign of a haunting can often be subtle and happens mostly with ghosts and spirits that have a more negative energy. Often, people spending a significant amount of time in a house that is haunted will have their personality and mental health affected. This can lead to crying more often, a general sense of depression and hopelessness, and even thoughts of suicide. If you notice any of those, especially without any events in your life that could be causing them, seek help immediately.
In the most extreme cases, demonic or spirit possession can also lead to a personality change. This is often noticeable immediately as a night and day, 180-degree change. Normally happy people that are suddenly mean and vindictive, even physically abusive, should be taken very seriously. Possessions are more common than people think.
Personality changes can also come from our furry family members. Animals are more connected to changes in energy, which is the same reason they are able to sense storms before they happen. Pay attention to dogs that start suddenly barking or growing at not obvious things, start hiding and cowering, or just refuse to enter rooms that they were previously comfortable in. This also extends to cats, who will raise the hair on their backs and hiss at “unseen” things. Always trust your pets, who are usually just trying to warn or protect you the best way they know how to.
We’ve saved the very best, and most strange, sign for last.
The discovery of ectoplasm came from Charles Richet in 1894, but it has still not been accepted by scientists and even some paranormal researchers. It is most often seen during seances, but can also occur in houses that are significantly haunted.
Ectoplasm can happen sometimes completely out of the blue, as drips from an unknown source on the ceiling. Other times, it will appear to pool on surfaces that are closest to the haunting like pianos or candlesticks.
It is usually viscous in its consistency, close to that of an uncooked egg white. This differs from how most people think of it, which mostly comes from that green ghost popularized in the famous 1980s movie.
While ectoplasm on its own isn’t necessarily “proof” of a haunting, when it is seen in combination with other haunting signs, it can be a sign that there is a significant haunting taking place in your home.
Hauntings can come with one, a handful, or all of the signs above. You should always start by ruling out any obvious, physical issues with your home and/or your health. After that, if you still think your house may be haunted, please contact a professional who can come out and help you better evaluate the situation. While many spirits are just annoying but harmless, there are some that can be dangerous if inappropriately handled. Seeking a qualified paranormal investigator, who can then reach out to the appropriate specialists if necessary, can literally save your life. Never attempt to take them on by yourself!